week 2: cooking for my mother-in-law

As I might have mentioned before, we travelled to Indonesia not so long ago. We took a short break from our life in Singapore and spent two weeks in Java with our beloved family. It’s always a pleasure to be back and everyone there is always looking forward to see and play with Bébé. I have to say that she enjoys very much the attention as she gets spoiled rotten I tell you! Although my mom comes to visit us quite regularly (Jakarta-Singapore is a mere 1h20 away), we still try to come back to Indonesia as often as we can so that other members of our family back home who can’t travel as much as my mom, gets to spend some time with Bébé as well. This is especially true for my husband’s side of the family.

My mother in law suffered two episodes of stroke three years ago when my husband and I were still studying and living in Paris, mere weeks away from my husband’s final examination for his PhD. Just like my mother, my mother in law has been a single parent for as long as my husband can remember. So you can imagine my husband’s heartbreak when he couldn’t rush to be by her side when she needed him the most. I’m happy to report that she is well on the path to recovery now and has regained some use of her right arm and leg. But much progress is still to be made.

Just before coming back to Singapore, we had decided to bring her along with us so that she could spend more time with Bébé. She was thrilled and so were we, especially my husband who has always been close to his mother. However this entailed a couple of modifications in our daily diet. As she is still recovering from her illness, she leads a very strict diet to regulate her blood pressure level thus banishing sodium, sugar, coconut milk/oil (a South-East Asian staple), dairy products, nuts, shellfish, all types of meat with the exception of chicken breast and deep water fish, and the list goes on and on and on…

Easy, why not make her salads, I hear you ask. Well true it might have been an easy route to take as my husband and I love salads but his mother… not so much. A true Indonesian by heart (and stomach), she will not call anything a meal as long as it doesn’t involve rice and some sorts of Indonesian dish to go with it. It’s actually not that difficult come to think of it as many Indonesian meals are heavy on the use of vegetables and spices. But many also involve a lot of frying and coconut milk. My challenge will be modifying those dishes and turning them into something healthy that would make my mother in law’s doctor proud. So, here goes.. week 2: cooking for my mother in law.

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